"I really learned a lot from [my first performance]," the political commentator tells PEOPLE

By Michele Steuven and Dahvi Shira
Updated September 20, 2011 05:30 PM
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Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Former prosecutor Nancy Grace is a tough presence in the courtroom and on her HLN current affairs talk show – but when it comes to Dancing with the Stars, the mother of two is ready to show her soft side.

“I really learned a lot from [my first performance],” the political commentator, 51, told PEOPLE backstage after Monday night’s show. “All [my supporters’] phone calls and letters and emails have really inspired me to keep trying. I hope they’re still my fans after that boo-boo on the dance floor.”

Grace admits that stepping out of her comfort zone was a rude awakening.

“Let me tell you, the courtroom is a lot different than the dancefloor,” she says. “You can prepare, prepare, prepare in court, but for the dancefloor, you’ve really got to be gifted and have a little pro in you, which I don’t.”